Agencies to try out EA system

Later this month, agencies will get their first look at the management system intended to provide an enterprise view of systems in place across government.

The Office of Management and Budget this month plans to use several agencies to test the governmentwide version of the Enterprise Architecture Management System, said Robert Haycock, program manager of the Federal Enterprise Architecture.

EAMS is the repository chosen to hold all of the information on agencies' systems and how they fit within OMB's business reference model, which outlines the common lines of business across government. The business reference model is one of five reference models being developed by OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office to help identify areas for collaborative investment and eliminate redundancy.

EAMS presently holds all the fiscal 2003 information, and as OMB budget examiners go through agencies' fiscal 2004 budget requests, that information will be added as well, Haycock said.

The two- to three-week "proof of concept" test to begin this month will check to make sure that:

* The system is easy to use.

* The system contains the information agencies need to find potential opportunities for collaboration.

* The reports OMB chose to generate are useful.

* The queries allowed on the system get agencies the information they need.

Following the test of EAMS, OMB officials plan to release the system to all agencies on a read-only basis, but agencies will be able to fully search the repository and generate reports. That full release is expected to come in mid-November, and "that should be well in time for the 2005 [budget] process," Haycock said.

The Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office is evaluating the appropriate access controls for EAMS. In addition to ensuring security controls for federal users, this will be the basis for allowing access to state and local officials so everyone can see "where business lines at the federal level might link up into business lines at the state and local level," Haycock said.

Meetings are already under way between OMB and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers' enterprise architecture group to discuss the potential benefits of this access, he said.

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